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Lions make an offer to Ryan Grant

Ryan Grant, Justin Houston

Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant (25) gets past Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston (50) during the second half of an NFL football game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

AP

The agent for free agent running back Ryan Grant said before the draft that Grant didn’t have anything going on with his old team, the Packers, but did have some interest from other teams. Now another of those teams has been identified: The Lions, who have offered Grant a contract.

Tim Twentyman writes at the Lions’ website that Grant has been offered a deal by the Lions, who are still trying to add depth at running back.

The running back position is unsettled for the Lions. Last year’s second-round draft pick, Mikel Leshoure, missed the entire season with a ruptured Achilles tendon and has been arrested twice this year for marijuana possession. Jahvid Best, who opened the season as the Lions’ starter, has a troubling history of concussions that has called his future into question. Kevin Smith performed adequately when the Lions picked him off the street after Best’s second concussion of last season, but the Lions seem to view him more as a stopgap in case of emergency than a No. 1 running back.

That could leave room on the roster for Grant, who split the running back duties with James Starks in Green Bay last season and finished with 134 carries for 559 yards.

Last year the Lions attempted to make a move at the running back position just before the trade deadline by trading running back Jerome Harrison and a seventh-round draft pick to the Eagles for running back Ronnie Brown. But Harrison failed a physical because of a brain tumor and the trade was voided. This year there has been no word on the Lions making an offer to Brown, even though Brown is available as a free agency. There has also been no word about the health of Harrison.